Last weekend we had a fire in the fire pit on our deck. It was super fun because it saved me from having to shred a year's worth of financial documents (it's amazing what a little lighter fluid can do.)
It was also fun because it created a focal point while the 6 of us just hung out and chatted.
At one point my younger son asked my younger daughter to dance. It was adorable.
Then my older son said, "Can I try?"
"No," I told him, "You ask, 'can i cut in'?"
So he asked and my daughter turned to him.
The younger son asked, INCREDULOUS, "You're DUMPING me?"
The boys where complaining tonight about all the chores they have (empty the dishwasher, move laundery from the washer to the dryer) and how the girls have none and how the girls get lots of things and they get nothing.
Specifically that the girls have a $15 full length mirror in their room and that I bought one of the girls a betta fish this weekend ($7) because she did a TON of schoolwork this summer and worked very hard.
The boys felt that this injustice should be remedied by me buying them a Boa Constrictor and also by taking them to NYC for a weekend.
I advised them that a full length mirror is a reasonable request and a boa constrictor is not. I also advised them that a trip to NYC is not something you earn by putting your own dishes in the dishwasher. (By doing this you earn dinner.)
I further coached them that if they approach their todo list with a little more gusto and cheer and a little less bitching and moaning that perhaps their hard work will be rewarded and at worst they will avoid being kicked in the behind.
10 minutes later my husband noticed that one of them left the light in the basement on. "Boys," he called, "One of you needs to go down and turn off the light."
My older son said, "I will." with almost unrecognizable cheer.
Then he looked at his younger brother and said, "BOOM! That's how it's done. I'll send you a postcard from NYC."